Vincent Neil Emerson – Willie Nelson’s Wall

7th May 2024 · 2010s, 2019, Country, Music

Texan troubadour Vincent Neil Emerson is one of country music’s minority of Native American performers, coming from the Choctaw-Apache tribe.

My oldest friend Steve was one of the first punks in London but ended up playing pedal steel guitar in a Western swing band in Texas.

Vincent Neil Emerson, who was already Texas born-and-raised, followed a similar path from punk to country – and here he is paying tribute to one of the greats with his own Western swing song.

He’s unusual in being of Native American heritage, and he’s got a way not just with music but with his album titles, such as his 2019 debut Fried Chicken & Evil Women.

That’s where you’ll find this tune, a tribute to his fellow Texan troubadour that the great man would surely enjoy: “I’m high as a fly on Willie Nelson’s wall / And I can’t quite remember where I am at all.”

Emerson’s got a serious side too: he also sings about his people’s displacement from their tribal land in Louisiana in a song called The Ballad Of The Choctaw-Apache.

He cites his influences as his fellow Texas songwriters Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, and Guy Clark as well as Bob Dylan and Neil Young.